12 boats started off Gurnard in the forecast 15 - 20 kts WSW breeze.
Tacks into the Island shore and then sluicing out through Hurst most boats went 'direct' using the North Channel.
In Class 1 Noel Cockle (45 ft Monocle) lead Simon Mitchell ( SF3200 Roxanne) and her sister ship ‘Fury' sailed by Richard Clark who slowly reeled Roxanne in over the distance to the finish off Poole, taking the Class win.
It was Class 2 boat ‘Pyxis' sailed by Kirsteen Donaldson who won both her class and took the race on corrected for the overall IRC win.
Well done Kirsteen.
Poole Quay Boat Haven was ready for us with allocated berths alongside.
A sunny evening , pontoon prizegiving and a few drinks, stories and catching up after so long … rounded off a great day in typical SORC style.
Returning to the Solent was downhill with more breeze 15 - 20 rising to 25+kts with gusts was to prove testing and rewarding for those who dared…
Kirsteen Donalson explains:
“After the start, my strategy had been to go inshore on port gybe for better (less) tide, to give clear air and a less deep wind angle for a spinnaker hoist after gybing on to starboard and, of course, a better view of the cruise liners. Fury seemed to have a similar plan. Watching those taking the direct line hoisting on the start, several seemed to have initial difficulties, so was happy with my strategy. The gybe and hoist went to plan. However, the wind built more than forecast and it became clear that I could only carry the kite when sailing deep and couldn’t come up enough to make Hurst, not such a good approach after all. Pyxis and the other boats around entered a synchronised broaching competition and, one-by-one, the spinnakers disappeared. In Pyxis’ case, it had another swim in the same place as on the way back from Channel Week before being banished to drip in the heads again. In the meantime, Roxanne and Rainmaker disappeared over the horizon, never seen again. Was disappointed nearing Hurst to see Felix in front, still successfully flying his spinnaker; however, he seemed to have difficulties with it in the Narrows and reappeared under white sails behind.
Through the Narrows, we all gybed inshore to avoid the tide. From there, the course to the finish was directly downwind. After unwrapping the headsail twice, gave up with it and, bare headed, just pointed Pyxis at the finish. With such a large main sail, I find this more effective in strong winds than playing the angles to stop a head sail wrapping and avoids repeated rather heavy gybes. Only sooner or later you have to work out how to drop that very large main sail in up to 28 knots! "
From Paul Reymond ( Parker 25 Oi Oi ):
"There most certainty is a story it involved a violent gust ,a snapped pole and letting x1 sheet fly only to find the other sheet detached.
Result very effective if oversized burgee .
Followed by recovery of burgee which then wrapped......
Quite surprised I didn't finish later ,hey ho .
Oi oi "
And from SORC Rookie Rob Magregor , on Mustang 30 ' Dark Horse’ :
"The race down to Poole was quite a tough bash to windward with wind-against-tide conditions through the Solent making it hard to keep the boat trucking along. I made some rookie mistakes, like failing to have the reefing line set up properly and overshooting the finish line, plus I had to change headsails when my old #3 genoa split across the middle, so my result was, shall we say, disappointing.
It was great to meet up with my fellow competitors in Poole and it turns out that, despite the fact that anyone who wants to do singlehanded offshore sailing is obviously slightly strange, they're all really nice people!
The race back was a blast, in sparkling conditions that suited the Mustang perfectly. I chose to start on port, so I could go inshore to dodge some tide and get a good wind angle for the leg up to the Solent. I gybed the kite off Boscombe (scary!) and then had an amazing ride up to Hurst, surfing continuously and hitting a maximum speed of 11.8 knots along the way. I dropped the kite for the leg to the finish in increasingly lively conditions, to finish third on the water and first in class - a great feeling.
Overall I'm impressed with the ethos of the SORC - proper racing, well organised, but with a relaxed and friendly attitude from all.”
So the Class 2 win was taken by Rookie Rob on ‘Dark Horse ‘ - perhaps that’s a boat name chosen for such occasions… we invite Rob to return soon and do it again , SORC RIOW (Round Isle of Wight) on 12th September perhaps?
He who dares wins …
The Day’s honours in Class 1 and Overall IRC went to Donald Macdonald ( Rainmaker) who , after running the Competitor Boat start for us , hoisted and held his heavy symmetric spinnaker to Hurst and beyond - right to the finish line in wind speeds 23 - 25 gusting 28 kts .
And somehow he did it all on Starboard gybe , soaking down all the way through the western Solent.
However , there was a price to pay for his victory - as he came up after the finish to clear the shore and drop his kite his pilot lost control and Rainmaker went into a series of broaches , wetting his gunwales and showing us parts of her hull previously unseen.
Donald , energised by his win set to getting the kite down. Seeing him let the halyard out about 10 feet was enough to indicate to me he was still functioning so I carried on to finish my own race.
But such was the sight of the large black kite pulling her onto her beam ends that a concerned motor cruiser stood by watching then invited Hamble RNLI came out to take a look too.
Donald dealt with it efficiently in front of his audience and headed back into wind and tide for his home port of Poole! Well done Don.
Next Inshore Series Race :
RIOW ( Round Isle of Wight ) 12th Sept - check the website for entry details coming soon
I look forward to seeing everyone there.